Municipal meeting cases


   
 

In reviewing a complaint about four closed meetings held by council for the Town of Moosonee, the Ombudsman found that the subject matter of the August 26, 2013 closed session did not fit within the "education or training" exception, or any exception to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 09/23/2014
 
"Turning Tables" - Investigation into whether members of Council for the City of London held an improper closed meeting on June 24, 2014. The Ombudsman concluded that a gathering of 12 council members in the City Hall cafeteria between meetings on June 24, 2014 - prior to a vote to fill a vacant council seat the next day - did not violate the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001.
Date: 09/19/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that some discussions held by council for the City of Elliot Lake during an October 25, 2013 closed session fell within the "personal matters" exception to the open meeting requirements, as they related to unproven allegations against an identified member of council.
Date: 09/19/2014
 
The Ombudsman determined that a December gathering did not constitute a "meeting" under the Municipal Act and the April closed meetings were permissible under the "personal matters" and "solicitor-client" privilege exception, but a March meeting was considered illegal under the Act.
Date: 09/15/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that the Committee's March 25, 2014 in camera discussion regarding the possibility of having a junior hockey team in the City did involve some personal information, however most of the discussion did not fit within the "personal matters" exception or any exception to the open meeting requirements, and should have taken place in open session.
Date: 09/05/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that discussions held by council for the Township of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan during two closed sessions on March 19, 2014 fit within the "education and training" and "personal matters" exceptions to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 09/05/2014
 
The Ombudsman found no evidence that Council members for the Municipality of West Nipissing met behind closed doors with the engineers working on a drainage project in violation of the open meeting requirements in December 2011.
Date: 09/03/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that council for the Township of Russell discussed three items in closed session on May 5, 2014 under the "security of the property" exception that did not fit within that exception, or any exception to the open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman also cautioned that council should ensure that all matters discussed in closed session fit within the exceptions cited in the resolution to proceed in camera.
Date: 08/25/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that council's March 31, 2014 discussion regarding a grant to the Fort Erie Racetrack did fit within the "acquisition or disposition of land" exception, because the grant was directly related to a potential land acquisition, such that both matters could not be discussed separately.
Date: 08/18/2014
 
The Ombudsman did not uncover any evidence that a quorum of council met secretly prior to the May 21 or September 3, 2013 public council meetings to discuss the appointment of a third party investigator or the elimination of the Auditor General's office.
Date: 07/29/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that council's April 16 closed meeting discussion regarding comments made by a councillor about staff performance did fit within the "personal matters" exception.
Date: 07/21/2014
 
The Ombudsman determined that Midland Council's March 17, 2014 closed meeting discussion about the Chief Administrative Officer's absence and workload coverage during the absence fell within the "personal matters" exception to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 06/24/2014
 
Read the live chat with senior members of the Ombudsman team.
Date: 06/24/2014
 
The Ombudsman reviewed a complaint that meetings of the Board of the Northern Institute of the Arts (known locally as the White Mountain Academy) was a "local board" of the City of Elliot Lake, subject to the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001 (the "Act").
Date: 06/24/2014
 
The ombudsman found that council for the City of Owen Sound violated the Municipal Act, 2001 when it went in camera to discuss and vote on funding for an MRI campaign on March 23, 2011. The Ombudsman also recommended that the City's procedure by-law be updated.
Date: 06/24/2014
 
Ombudsman’s Message: Reaching New Heights. This year has been an exceptional one for my Office, for both the sheer volume of public complaints and systemic investigations that we managed, and the historic progress that was achieved towards modernizing our mandate.
Date: 06/23/2014
 
Investigation into how the Ministry of Transportation administers the process for obtaining and assessing information about drivers who may have uncontrolled hypoglycemia.
Date: 04/30/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that two separate in camera meetings involving City of London council were closed appropriately.
Date: 04/25/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that the Ajax General Government Committee's May 23, 2013 closed door discussion about the disposition of municipal lands (potential lease or sale of lands) fell within the "acquisition or disposition of land" exception to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 04/25/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that council for the City of Timmins did not violate the Municipal Act when it went in camera on September 25, 2013, to discuss "potential litigation" with respect to the wastewater treatment plant upgrade.
Date: 04/17/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that Council for the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh did not violate the Municipal Act, 2001 when it went in camera on February 18, 2014 to discuss potential litigation with respect to a wind energy company's discharge of water onto a municipal road allowance.
Date: 04/14/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that the Niagara District Airport Commission did not hold a "secret" meeting to discuss and decide handling of Freedom of Information requests that were before the Commission. The matter was discussed at a special meeting that was open to the public on December 19, 2013 and public notice was provided on the Commission's website.
Date: 03/24/2014
 
The Ombudsman did not uncover any evidence to support the complaint that council members for the Township of Nairn and Hyman discussed a community investment proposal from a mining/explosives company behind closed doors.
Date: 03/20/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that closed meetings held by the Municipality of Killarney's Ad-Hoc Committee between June and August 2013 contravened the municipality's procedure by-law because, under the by-baw, all committee meetings must be open to the public unless the subject matter falls within one of the open meeting exceptions of the Municipal Act, 2001
Date: 03/14/2014
 
The Ombudsman determined that a quorum of Council's November 1, 2013 meeting with Chief Day of the Serpent River First Nation violated the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act.
Date: 03/10/2014
 
The Ombudsman determined that Council's September 9, 2013 closed meeting discussion with the owner of a local sports bar about the terms of a lease agreement violated the Municipal Act.
Date: 02/24/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that council's July 22, 2013 discussion of a Council member's request for indemnification for legal fees incurred as a Police Services Board member did not qualify for closed meeting consideration under the open meeting exceptions as the subject matter pertained to the Council member's activities in his professional role and the invoice considered did not reveal any privileged communications between solicitor and client.
Date: 02/19/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that Council's July 23, 2013 closed meeting with its Solicitor to receive advice about litigation filed against the Town in relation to a building permit/development dispute, was permitted under both the "solicitor client privilege" and "litigation or potential litigation" exceptions to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 02/07/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that Markstay-Warren council's closed meeting discussions in July and August 2013 about a proposed land acquisition were permitted in closed session. However, the Ombudsman recommended that council provide more detail in its closed meeting records or consider audio or video recording meetings to ensure a complete and accurate record.
Date: 01/27/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that Council's closed meeting discussion with its Solicitor on November 19, 2013 to seek advice on the terms of an outstanding Agreement of Purchase and Sale, which was also subject to an appeal before the Land Registry Tribunal, was permitted under the "solicitor-client privilege" exception to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 01/24/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that Council's August 27, 2013 closed meeting discussion with the Municipality's Solicitor about a proposed building by-law, being considered in response to litigation filed against the Municipality, was permitted under the "solicitor-client privilege" and "litigation or potential litigation" exceptions.
Date: 01/03/2014
 
The Ombudsman found that Council for the Township of Ryerson improperly discussed the Thompson quarry/pit zoning application in closed meetings held on September 12, 2012 and July 9, 2013 and, during the September 12, 2012 closed meeting Council improperly introduced a topic without referencing the matter in the resolution to proceed in camera.
Date: 12/19/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the September 10 meeting of the Planning Committee for the Town of Larder Lake was open to the public.
Date: 12/16/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Council for the Town of Amherstburg did not violate the Municipal Act, 2001 when it held an emergency closed meeting on October 21, 2013.
Date: 12/13/2013
 
Read the Ombudsman's second annual report on the work of our Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team (OMLET), which is solely devoted to upholding Ontario’s municipal open meeting law, also known as the Sunshine Law.
Date: 12/11/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that a majority of council met illegally in November 2012 before decorating a float for local Christmas parades. He also found that a February 2013 committee meeting was appropriately closed to discuss “employee negotiations” – however, it violated the Act because no public notice was given.
Date: 12/06/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that council for the City of Timmins did not violate the Municipal Act when it held a closed meeting on June 17, 2013 to consider a complaint against a resident with respect to allegations of a zoning by-law infraction.
Date: 11/27/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that an October 31, 2010 gathering including one incumbent Council member and four Councillors-elect with the lawyer for the Fort Erie Waterfront Association was not subject to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 11/25/2013
 
The Ombudsman did not uncover evidence that the Council for the Town of Mattawa held a secret meeting to discuss extending the Mayor's duties and increasing his pay for a limited period, a decision that was unanimously passed by Council at a June 24, 2013 public Council meeting.
Date: 11/21/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Council for the Township of North Dumfries did not violate the open meeting requirements with respect to an August 19, 2013 closed session at which Council received an update from the Township Solicitor on matters before the Ontario Municipal Board. The discussion qualified for closed meeting consideration under the "litigation or potential litigation" exception to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 11/07/2013
 
Based on the Ombudsman's review, it appears the Commission is a local board subject to the open meeting requirements. Under the circumstances, the Commission should enact a procedure by-law governing meetings in accordance with the Municipal Act and comply with the open meeting requirements.
Date: 11/04/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that members of the Personnel Committee for the Township of Bonfield did not violate the open meeting requirements with respect to an October 8, 2013 closed session at which the Committee received an update on an on-going municipal labour dispute, a pending Labour Relations Board hearing, and employment matters pertaining to specific municipal employees were discussed.
Date: 10/30/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the Acton Business Improvement Area Board's June 18, 2013 consideration of a lease agreement qualified for closed meeting consideration. However, we identified a number of procedural violations with respect to the resolution to proceed in camera, the meeting record, and the Board's Procedure By-Law.
Date: 10/25/2013
 
Ontario Ombudsman does not find that the Procedure By-Law Review Committee held an illegal closed meeting between May 14 and June 24, 2013.
Date: 10/22/2013
 
“In the Back Room” - Ombudsman Report. Investigation into whether members of Council for the City of London held an improper closed meeting on February 23, 2013
Date: 10/22/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that a quorum of Council for the Township of Adelaide Metcalfe illegally met behind closed doors with representatives from a wind energy corporation on January 25, 2012.
Date: 10/21/2013
 
In a reviewing a complaint about five closed meetings between October 2012 and March 2013, the Ombudsman found that the subject matter discussed during each of the in camera sessions was permitted under the Municipal Act. However, Council did improperly vote during the in camera session of the November 26, 2012 Council meeting.
Date: 10/07/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that there had been no secret meetings of council at the township landfill site on August 3 and August 7, 2013, preceding the cancellation of a number of council and committee meetings.
Date: 09/23/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Council improperly introduced and discussed a Councillor cost reimbursement policy in a May 7, 2013 closed meeting.
Date: 09/09/2013
 
The Ombudsman did not find that there had been secret meetings involving members of Council prior to the passage of a by-law regarding wind turbines at the January 14, 2013 Council meeting.
Date: 09/09/2013
 
The Ombudsman determined that Council did not violate the open meeting requirements in relation to pre-meeting gatherings held on July 10, 2012 and March 12, 2013.
Date: 08/23/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the CAO's February 19, 2013 announcement to a quorum of Council about the resignation of a senior staff's resignation did not constitute a "meeting" for the purposes of the open meeting requirements, as no substantive discussion of Council business took place.
Date: 08/20/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Elliot Lake Council's June 4, 2013 in camera discussion on the status of negotiations between a Joint Relations Committee and the Serpent River First Nation, which was attended by non-Council members of the Committee, was permitted under the Act. However, as the meeting notice incorrectly stated the meeting start time, the Ombudsman reminded Council of the importance to ensure accuracy in all future meeting notices.
Date: 08/16/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the September 12, 2012 meeting among six of the seven members of the Niagara District Airport Liaison Committee did not violate the Municipal Act.
Date: 07/31/2013
 
Ombudsman's Message: The Multipurpose Ombudsman

The stories in this report, arising from the 19,726 cases we received in 2012-2013, demonstrate how my Office uses a variety of tools to resolve individual and systemic concerns. Picture a “Swiss Army”-style knife with all sorts of useful accountability gadgets: A barometer, a horsefly, an oil can, a safety valve and more.
Date: 07/08/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Council's consideration of a matter involving disposition of city-owned lands in a May 21, 2013 closed session was permitted under the Act, and that the city did not violate the open meeting requirements during a meeting on March 20.
Date: 07/05/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Council did not violate the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001 when it met behind closed doors on January 23, 2013 to seek legal advice about a contract with a consultant.
Date: 06/24/2013
 
The Ombudsman determined that the Town of South Bruce Peninsula did not violate the open meeting requirements when it went in camera on seven occasions between September 4, 2012 and January 15, 2013.
Date: 06/18/2013
 
Ombudsman Report - Investigation into the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ response to allegations of excessive use of force against inmates.
Date: 06/11/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the City of Sault Ste. Marie's Procedure By-Law Review Committee violated the open meeting requirements and its procedure by-law when it held closed meetings on November 1, 2012 and January 28, 2013.
Date: 06/10/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Council for the City of Elliot Lake did not violate the Municipal Act or its Procedure By-Law when it held a special closed meeting without advance public notice in order to discuss an urgent matter with its solicitor.
Date: 05/14/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the September 10 meeting of the Planning Committee for the Town of Larder Lake was open to the public, however he noted that the town's procedure by-law should be amended to state that the Committee must follow the open meeting requirements at its meetings, given that four of the five members of council sit on the Committee.
Date: 05/14/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Fort Erie Council's February 4, 2013 closed meeting discussion of the mayor's alleged breach of the Town's Code of Conduct was not authorized under the "personal matters" exception of the Municipal Act, as the subject matter discussed was about the mayor in a professional context, and did not involve consideration of 'personal' information.
Date: 05/13/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the Town of Pelham did not improperly vote on an Environmental Protection by-law in closed session, and that Council's March 4 closed session to discuss the by-law fell within the "advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege" exception to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 05/08/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that a gathering of four of the nine Niagara District Airport Commission members and four of thirteen St. Catharines Council members on December 9, 2012, was not a "meeting" for the purposes of the open meeting requirements.
Date: 04/30/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the Elliot Lake Economic Development Committee's January 29, 2013 closed meeting discussion included the evaluation and assessment of individual qualifications, experience, and character traits, and, therefore, qualified for closed meeting consideration under the "personal matters" exception to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 04/24/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that St. Catharines Council's December 17, 2012 closed meeting discussion about potential cuts to identifiable employees in the City of Thorold's Fire Service qualified for closed meeting consideration under the "personal matters" exception.
Date: 04/19/2013
 
The Ombudsman determined that Council's review of information related to an ongoing Ontario Municipal Board appeal during a closed meeting on November 10, 2010 was permitted in a closed meeting under the "litigation or potential litigation" exception to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 03/27/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the Township of Adelaide Metcalfe contravened the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act at meetings held July 25, August 1, and August 13, 2012.
Date: 03/19/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Council for the Municipality of Central Huron contravened the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act during meetings held in May and July, 2012, but that a closed meeting on June 11 was justified based on the exceptions contained in the Act.
Date: 03/13/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the Planning and Development Committee's consideration of a zoning dispute in its November 7, 2012 closed meeting was permitted under the "potential litigation" exception to the open meeting requirements, as there was a very real potential that litigation would occur if the particular zoning matter was not resolved.
Date: 03/04/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Council's closed meeting with the Township Solicitor on November 12, 2012 to discuss the status of an Ontario Municipal Board appeal fell within the "litigation or potential litigation" exception to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 02/25/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the Niagara District Airport Commission held improper in camera discussions on May 3 and May 17, 2012, in violation of the Municipal Act. The Commission also conducted improper votes while in closed session at these meetings.
Date: 02/22/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Council for the Township of Tiny improperly discussed one item in closed session at its October 29 meeting, in violation of the Municipal Act.
Date: 02/21/2013
 
In reviewing a number of closed meetings held between November 2011 and September 2012, the Ombudsman found that council contravened the open meeting requirements at the November 1, 2011 meeting. The Ombudsman also provided some recommendations to help improve the transparency of closed meetings.
Date: 02/21/2013
 
The Ombudsman did not find that council for the City of Greater Sudbury violated the open meeting requirements when it closed two meetings in June 2012 to the public in order to discuss the contract of an identified member of staff. However, council did improperly vote during the in camera session on June 12, 2012.
Date: 02/15/2013
 
The Ombudsman did not find that council for the Municipality of Lambton Shores violated the open meeting requirements when it closed a November 13, 2012 meeting to the public in order to discuss an identified member of staff. However, council did improperly vote during the in camera session.
Date: 02/11/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Council for the Town of Hearst's review of five applications/letters of interest for the Council seat vacancy was permitted under the Act.
Date: 02/08/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that a series of e-mails sent by Municipality of Leamington council members in response to a resident's inquiry and copied to all Council members did not constitute an (electronic) meeting that was subject to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 02/01/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that council in the Town of Blind River did not violate the Municipal Act when it held a closed meeting on September 17, 2012.
Date: 01/24/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that Council in the Township of Ryerson's discussion of matters pertaining to a quarry zoning application was not permitted within a closed meeting, with one exception - Council's review of written legal advice at the end of hour and forty-five minute meeting did qualify for closed meeting consideration under the "solicitor-client privilege" exception of the Act.
Date: 01/22/2013
 
The Ombudsman found that the Centennial Celebration Committee, comprised of the Mayor of Sarnia, City Manager, and no less than seven citizens, did not meet the definition of "committee" under the Municipal Act and, therefore, was not subject to the open meeting requirements.
Date: 11/19/2012
 
Ontario municipal councillors should hold fewer closed meetings, record them electronically and be more mindful of public concerns when they gather outside of council chambers, Ontario Ombudsman André Marin says in his first ever annual report on closed municipal meetings in Ontario.
Date: 10/30/2012
 
Investigation into how the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services have addressed operational stress injuries affecting police officers.
Date: 10/24/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that Council's agenda and resolution to proceed in camera did not accurately reflect the substance of the closed meeting on May 9, 2012.
Date: 10/11/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that the Town of Kearney's Ad Hoc Personnel Committee violated the Municipal Act when it held a closed meeting in April 2011.
Date: 09/27/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that Council for the Town of Midland discussed issues in closed session on multiple occasions between December 2011 and March 2012 in circumstances that were not permitted under the exceptions to the Municipal Act.
Date: 09/21/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that the Regional Municipality of Niagara's notice practice for advisory committee meetings did not comply with its Procedure By-Law in that agendas were not posted on the website prior to meetings.
Date: 09/12/2012
 
In reviewing complaints that Council in Morris-Turnberry improperly discussed in closed meetings the development of a local fire department , the Ombudsman found that Council did not always accurately or clearly identify the subject matter to be discussed or the exceptions authorizing the closed meetings. In addition, at the December 20, 2011 meeting, Council strayed from the subject matter permitted in a closed meeting.
Date: 09/10/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that Council for the United Townships of Head, Clara and Maria did not contravene the Municipal Act at meetings held in October and November 2011. The Ombudsman provided some best practice recommendations to help improve the transparency of closed meetings.
Date: 09/07/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that Council for the City of Elliot Lake violated the Municipal Act when a quorum of council attended a meeting of the Elliot Lake Residential Development Commission on April 16, 2012, and a meeting of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization on April 26, 2012.
Date: 09/05/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that the City of Greater Sudbury did not contravene the open meeting requirements during meetings on October 3 and 12, November 9 and December 14, 2011, during which a personal matter related to an identifiable individual was discussed. However, he did strongly criticize council members for their reluctance to co-operate with the investigative process.
Date: 08/30/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that the City of London did not contravene the open meeting requirements when six members of council met for lunch at a local restaurant on February 21, 2012, prior to a budget meeting and several committee meetings.
Date: 08/02/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that the Town of Amherstburg did not contravene the open meeting requirements when it received advice subject to solicitor-client privilege in a closed session on January 9, 2012, or when it went in camera on February 13, 2012.
Date: 07/20/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that Fort Erie Council complied with the open meeting requirements in regard to closed meetings held on July 9 and 16, 2012, however, they violated the open meeting requirements at two closed meetings in April and May, 2012.
Date: 07/16/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that the Township of Tiny's Committee of the Whole's March 26, 2012 closed meeting discussion about the public's reaction to a court decision was not permitted in a closed meeting under the exception "litigation or potential litigation." In addition, the Ombudsman found that the Committee could have been more transparent in terms of the information provided to the public about the nature of closed meetings held on January 9 and March 12, 2006.
Date: 07/02/2012
 

Ombudsman's Message: Limit Spending, Not Fairness

As I write this message, I am acutely aware that Ontario’s public service and its citizens are bracing for the impact of new cost-containment measures. To their immense credit, parliamentarians and senior government officials have continued to show support and respect for the work of my Office. They have recognized the value of Ombudsman oversight, even in tough times, as a means to ensure accountability and spur increased efficiency and fairness in the provision of public services.
Date: 06/19/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that the Township of Adelaide Metcalfe did not contravene the Municipal Act during two closed meetings in March 2012.
Date: 06/04/2012
 
The Ombudsman reviewed three closed meetings in late 2011 and early 2012 and found that the matter discussed was permitted in a closed meeting. However, the Ombudsman found that Council improperly relied on the "security of the property exception" to close two of the meetings and voted on a substantive matter in another closed session, contrary to the Act.
Date: 05/29/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that Council of the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands violated the open meeting requirements when it considered and voted to approve an increase in Council remuneration behind closed doors.
Date: 05/28/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that London councillors did not violate the Municipal Act when they met in camera to discuss the "Occupy London" protest last November.
Date: 03/19/2012
 
The Ontario Ombudsman cautions City of Hamilton councillors they were on thin ice - but finds their breakfast with the Edmonton Oilers' president and local hockey coach didn't break the open meeting law.
Date: 02/22/2012
 
The Ontario Ombudsman reviewed several complaints alleging that improper closed meetings had occurred in Clarence-Rockland between November 2010 and June 2011.
Date: 02/15/2012
 
The Ombudsman found that the City of Hamilton held two improperly closed sessions on June 27, 2011, during which the dissolution of the Board of Directors of Hamilton Entertainment Convention Facilities Inc., as well as a grant request from McMaster University, were discussed.
Date: 01/11/2012
 
The Ombudsman determined that a meeting arranged by municipal staff to allow community members to discuss concerns about a sewage expansion project with the consulting firm leading the project was not subject to the open meeting rules, as it did not involve the exercise of council's authority or laying the groundwork for future council decision making.
Date: 01/09/2012
 
The Ombudsman confirmed that the council for the Town of Amherstburg repeatedly contravened the Municipal Act and its own procedure by-law.
Date: 01/06/2012
 
Investigation into the Ministry of the Attorney General’s implementation of recommendations concerning reform of the Special Investigations Unit.
Date: 12/14/2011
 
Our Office found that the Township of Larder Lake held an emergency meeting on September 1, 2011, without following the necessary procedural requirements, including providing notice to the public and passing a resolution to proceed in camera. We also noted that the Township's procedural by-law did not provide for notice to the public of special and emergency meetings.
Date: 12/13/2011
 
Our Office found that members of council of the Municipality of Grey Highlands did not contravene the open meeting provisions when they had lunch with staff from a developer of commercial wind turbines.
Date: 09/29/2011
 
Our Office reviewed a complaint that notice of a Minor Variance Committee meeting was not provided. We found that, although notice of this particular meeting was provided, the Committee did not have its own procedure by-law. Because the Committee is a local board for the purpose of the open meeting provisions, it is required to pass its own procedure by-law, which provides for notice of meetings.
Date: 09/19/2011
 
Our Office found that Howick Township Council contravened the open meeting requirements when it met behind closed doors to discuss changes to a proposed agreement between the Township and the local Agricultural Society.
Date: 08/09/2011
 
The Ombudsman reviewed meetings held by Council for the Town of South Bruce Peninsula between January and March 2011, and found several violations of the open meeting provisions.
Date: 08/02/2011
 
Our Office found that Council for the Township of Georgian Bay contravened the open meeting requirements when it met with a local association representing the interests of cottagers.
Date: 07/29/2011
 

Ombudsman's Message: The Future of Government is Open

Ontario Ombudsman André Marin called on the government of Ontario to embrace the worldwide trend toward open government, noting that many of his investigations of government organizations revealed a lack of transparency and accountability to Ontarians.
Date: 06/21/2011
 
The Ombudsman found that the Town of Amherstburg improperly held a vote during an emergency closed meeting in February 2011 regarding rescinding naming rights for a local recreation complex from a convicted sex offender.
Date: 03/17/2011
 
The Ombudsman found that Sault Ste. Marie’s Agenda Setting Review Committee, comprised of three council members and two municipal employees, was obligated to comply with the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act.
Date: 02/22/2011
 
The Ombudsman determined that the Town of Mattawa’s Ad Hoc Heritage Committee held a series of improperly closed meetings.
Date: 01/11/2011
 
Investigation into The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ conduct in relation to Ontario Regulation 233/10 under the Public Works Protection Act.
Date: 12/07/2010
 
Ombudsman finds the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN closed several meetings to the public for the purposes of “education” illegal.
Date: 08/10/2010
 
The Ombudsman determined that the council of the Town of South Bruce discussed a topic in closed session in September 2009 that was not properly identified in the resolution authorizing the meeting. The investigation also determined that unhealthy tensions existed at that time on council that contributed to its failure to comply with the open meetings law.
Date: 07/07/2010
 

Ombudsman's Message: A strong foundation for better governance

As Ontarians brace for a new round of belt-tightening initiatives targeted at deficit elimination, the Ombudsman’s role becomes all the more critical. The public, the Legislative Assembly and government administrators need to have confidence that there is an impartial, fair and unbiased overseer available to listen to all sides, investigate thoroughly, and provide balanced advice and guidance.
Date: 06/15/2010
 
Ministry decision to restrict cancer drug "verges on cruelty" - Ombudsman finds cap on Avastin funding unreasonable and wrong.
Date: 09/30/2009
 
Ontario Ombudsman urges stricter controls on colleges: Cambrian college left students unqualified; Ministry "abdicated responsibility"
Date: 08/25/2009
 
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today urged the province's Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to get tougher on unscrupulous private career colleges.
Date: 07/14/2009
 

Ombudsman’s Message: Championing Value in Hard Times

Ontarians, like everyone else, have been greatly affected by the global recession this past year. Just as individuals and businesses are coping with job losses and financial stress, our governments are grappling with increased demand for services and deficit budgeting.
Date: 06/23/2009
 
The Ombudsman found Baldwin Township council contravened the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act in July 2008 and recommended several changes to its practices and procedure by-law.
Date: 05/23/2009
 
Investigation into the City of Oshawa, Development Services Committee Special Meeting of May 22, 2008.
Date: 04/29/2009
 
Investigation into the City of Oshawa's apparent failure to co-operate.
Date: 04/27/2009
 
The Ombudsman found an Oshawa council committee improperly met behind closed doors in May 2008 in an “education and training” session with representatives of a recycling company that had been the subject of odour complaints.
Date: 04/23/2009
 
The Ombudsman found that the Township of Enniskillen council considered a land acquisition in closed session, which is permitted, but the resolution authorizing the closed meeting was vague and other topics were discussed that could not legally be dealt with in a closed meeting.
Date: 04/03/2009
 
The Ombudsman found that Nipissing Township council improperly held a closed meeting on April 25, 2008.
Date: 02/06/2009
 
The Ombudsman found the Township of Emo violated provisions of the Municipal Act in relation to a closed session held on April 8, 2008.
Date: 01/30/2009
 
Investigation into the Special Investigations Unit's operational effectiveness and credibility.
Date: 09/30/2008
 
Investigation into Legal Aid Ontario’s Role in the Funding of the Criminal Defence of Richard Wills.
Date: 06/26/2008
 

Ombudsman’s Message: Shining the Light

Once again this year, this Office’s efforts to expose government to the light of scrutiny have shown great success. We have called provincial officials to account for their conduct and worked with them to improve the service they offer to millions of Ontarians.
Date: 06/17/2008
 
Investigation into how the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services represents its relationship with Tarion Warranty Corp. to the public.
Date: 06/03/2008
 
The Ombudsman warned Sudbury councillors that their closed-door meeting regarding the city’s Elton John concert ticket scandal was close to the legal line.
Date: 04/25/2008
 
The Ombudsman found that Fort Erie council did nothing wrong when it met behind closed doors on January 7, 2008 for an “education and training session.” However, in the interest of furthering transparency in local government, the Ombudsman recommended that council give more detail about such meetings in advance.
Date: 02/06/2008
 

Ombudsman’s Message: Few Left Untouched

Few people in Ontario have been left untouched by this Office’s work. We have helped thousands of individuals – more than 20,200 in the past fiscal year alone – navigate through government red tape and find solutions to their problems.
Date: 06/27/2007
 
Investigation into the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s Protection of the Public from Fraud and Theft.
Date: 03/26/2007
 
Investigation into the treatment of victims by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
Date: 02/27/2007
 
Investigation into the complaint of the Family Responsibility Office's ineffective enforcement using a Writ of Seizure and Sale.
Date: 08/09/2006
 

Ombudsman's Message: Humanizing government

This has been a remarkable year, rich with accomplishment. We have ferreted out systemic problems that caused frustration – even tragedy – for some, and we have helped many others who had problems of their own in dealing with government.
Date: 06/22/2006
 
Investigation into unreasonable delay at the Ministry of Community and Social Services' Ontario Disability Support Program's Disability Adjudication Unit.
Date: 05/31/2006
 
Investigation into the transparency of the property assessment Process and the integrity and efficiency of decision-making at the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.
Date: 03/28/2006
 
Investigation into whether the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has failed to properly administer newborn screening in Ontario.
Date: 09/27/2005
 
Investigation into the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's refusal to fund the drug Cystagon for treatment of Batten's Disease.
Date: 09/01/2005
 
The year 2004-2005 was one of transition for Ombudsman Ontario, as Ontario’s fifth Ombudsman, Clare Lewis, Q.C., served the final year of his term, retiring at the end of January 2005.
Date: 06/29/2005
 
Investigation into parents of children with special needs being forced to relinquish custody of their children to obtain necessary residential care.
Date: 05/20/2005
 
I am now serving in my final year as Ombudsman of Ontario. Reflecting on the past four and one-half years, I believe that my office has been through a process of positive change both structurally and culturally. Since assuming office, I have encouraged strategic and efficient use of our resources to ensure maximum effect.
Date: 06/17/2004
 
This past year has seen a continuation of the process of organizational renewal commenced last year as we pursue our mission of “working to ensure fair and accountable provincial government service.” It is my intention to ensure that my office demonstrates the values of Fairness, Accountability, Integrity and Respect not just in its words but in its actions.
Date: 06/01/2003
 

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